J&J’s antihistamine-releasing contact lens shows promise in Phase 3 trials

pharmafile | March 28, 2019 | News story | Research and Development J&J, JJ, eye care, pharma 

Johnson and Johnson has unveiled new Phase 3 data on its antihistamine-releasing contact lens, showing that the investigational product led to reduced symptoms of eye itch in patients who were exposed to allergens.

The disposable lenses contain ketotifen, an inhibitor of bodily substances known to trigger allergic reactions and inflammation. 244 participants took part in the two studies, randomised to receive either J&J’s lens or a placebo control lens, wearing them for either 15 minutes or 12 hours. Following this, allergens were introduced into the eyes and patients were asked to report their experienced severity of itching on a scale of 0-4.

It was found that patients using J&J’s lenses reported a “both a clinically and statistically significant (p< 0.001) reduction in the average eye itch symptom” in both time groups compared to those using control lenses, meeting its primary endpoint. However,  they did not show a clinically significant reduction in the secondary endpoint of eye redness.

Up to a fifth of US citizens experience itchy eyes, or ocular allergy as it is known, spurred by exposure to allergens including pollen, dust or pet dander, and this general prevalence of the condition extends to the rest of the world.

“At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we are committed to pioneering new technologies that both correct people’s vision and also have potential to address other lifestyle or medical needs they may have,” said Dr Xiao-Yu Song, Global Head of Research and Development, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. “It is encouraging to see this large-scale assessment that indicates the potential of a contact lens-based drug delivery system which, in the future, could represent an entirely new category of contact lenses. We will continue development of this contact lens technology and are committed to making regulatory submissions for this antihistamine-releasing contact lens as we move forward.”

Matt Fellows

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